Elementary and secondary students participating in a mock vote chose Liberal Jati Sidhu in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, by a much wider margin than in real polls.
The race was tight in the election – Sidhu won with 37 per cent of votes over Conservative Brad Vis, with 35 per cent. Students widened that two-point margin to a 21-point one, favouring Sidhu handily with 40 per cent of mock ballots to Vis’ 19 per cent.
Student Vote Canada – organized by Civix, a non-profit group, and Elections Canada – is designed to get youth interested in democracy by giving them a taste of the voting experience. Realistic-looking polling booths, complete with voter rolls, private baffles and specially printed fake ballots, were set up in over 6,000 schools all over Canada just before the real federal vote on Oct. 19.
A similar wave of enthusiasm to that which carried the Liberals to a 184-seat majority government was seen in Student Votes. Students favored Liberal candidates in 227 of seats. They chose Conservatives in 70, down from the 99 MPs elected to the new Official Opposition.
Over 850,000 students across Canada participated in the student vote. In Mission, students joined in at Albert McMahon, Edwin S. Richard, Christine Morrison and West Heights elementary schools, along with older students at Fraserview Learning Centre and Mission Secondary.